Folksy Ltd

How accurate are your descriptions?

I have often wondered how much detail is needed in product descriptions regarding the materials used. I understand completely that with jewellery customers need to know whether something is sterling silver, real gemstones etc and buyers of fabric goods may need to know the exact composition of the fabric for washing/wearing purposes but when it comes to embellishments used on other items how accurate do we need to be?

I make a variety of things on which I use beads, wire, charms, fabric etc. If I decorated something with flatback pearl beads - should I be saying pearl effect as I’m pretty sure they have never seen an oyster. If I use some “fur” trim should I be saying “faux fur”. Are acrylic crystals really crystals, silver beads - silver coloured beads, antique brass charms - antique brass effect charms etc etc.

Sometimes describing things accurately can make your descriptions read really badly but at the same time I don’t want to be pulled up for not describing an item accurately. Just wondering what others do.

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I always try and be accurate, for example saying gold coloured or silver coloured rather than gold or silver. Some people read things literally - and if you say something like ‘pearl beads’ rather than’ pearl effect beads’ then if they want to be pedantic that can claim that you mislead them. I know when I am reading through descriptions of listings there are some items that I have seen that have looked pretty, but the description is either so basic, or seems to be misleading, that I end up not buying because I don’t trust the professionalism of the shop owner. Yes, I could message for clarification, but if someone can’t be bothered to take the time to describe something accurately in the first place then I can’t be bothered to spend the time messaging them as there are so many other lovely bits to buy from other shops.

If I find the technical stuff doesn’t read so well within the main context of the description I add a paragraph at the end with that kind of detail clarified in it.

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I use the term ‘faux pearls’ or ‘faux gems’ when describing the bling on my cards, I’m sure no-one expects the real thing on a greeting card costing a few pounds but you never know.

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It is a tricky one, I try to err on the safe (pedantic?) side even though I’m quite sure people buy my stitched art pieces for the look of them and not depending on whether the embellishments are real pearl or crystal or whatever. I do tend to say ‘faux pearls’ or ‘pearly beads’ rather than pearls - or if I think it’s all getting too wordy and not relevant I just stick at ‘beads’.

I try to be accurate, my descriptions are quite long because I try and make sure I cover myself with everything. I’d put some of the postage information and notices under the ‘buying from me’ bit on my profile but I’m not guaranteed customers will go and read it.

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It’s their own fault if they don’t read all the info. You’ve put it down so they have no reason to complain if they miss something also they do have the right to just change their mind and return something (at their own expense unless it’s faulty or not as described)

Faux fur is a selling point in itself because many people don’t like to have the real thing. I think that it is also a fair point that people expect to find real pearls in jewellery and if they aren’t real then to be labelled “glass” “Swarovski” acrylic etc, but on a greetings card or a dolly’s dress nobody expects real pearls anyway. There may be further information concerning the legal position in The Trades Descriptions Act and the Online Selling Regulations that pertain to this thread, though, so it might be worth a read if you are interested.

Love Sam x

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I try to be as accurate as possible because I hate vague descriptions. A potential buyer can of course contact us and ask detailed questions but I suspect that in reality most people don’t do this. We live in an age where we expect to have everything directly in front of us without waiting or effort. There is a huge difference between a “real” pearl and a glass one, but if you don’t describe them accurately you run the risk of something being returned because it’s not as described (there are people who don’t understand the difference between the two items!) It also gives the unscrupulous a way of returning something without good reason, and for those of you who have ever sold anything on *bay you will know what I mean. The scales are weighted on the side of the purchaser in these cases (which is unreasonable, but the law). We can, of course, list the materials used in the item (I don’t like the way the “dark side” does this, and prefer Folksy’s approach). I also try to set the description out with plenty of spaces, short sentences, paragraph breaks etc which makes the information easier to take in.

I agree completely that a very basic description can be offputting (to be honest it looks as if someone couldn’t be bothered to describe the item they have created and therefore don’t care whether they sell it or not).

In other words I am in favour of a full description.

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It seems we are all singing from much the same hymn sheet! I like the idea of a separate paragraph at the end though Sara @DandelionsGallery - it would allow you to describe your item without too many “faux …” and “…effect” descriptions if you just say at the end that beads, pearls, fur etc are synthetic versions.

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I always use the correct descriptive terms for the materials I use. Anything else can get me into deep water.

I don’t buy from online shops that do not supply all the information I require to decide if I want to buy their item or not.

I try to only use real gemstones or pearls etc and want to make it clear, pricing to reflect it as well. I have nothing against glass pearls or synthetic beadsand want my customers to understand why my price might be more expensive than others. If I have made everything down to the chain and clasp, I want ‘shout about’ it. I’d hate someone to have a reaction to something because I wasn’t clear about a silver plated component that was assumed to be sterling.

When I am buying something, I want to know exactly what I’m getting, so makes sure I include the same. I’ve bought things and found them much smaller/bigger than I expected so like to include sizes as well.

I’m not so good at the pretty descriptions so go for the technical styles

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I always try to be as descriptive as possible if a yarn I use is a mixture eg 40% wool 30% mohair 30% acrylic then that is exactly how I describe it in case someone has an allergy to one or other or maybe is a vegan.
I get annoyed when someone describes something as a wool blanket,hat,scarf etc.and in the materials used it is listed as Acrylic. Wool is a natural fibre and acrylic is manmade, so yes you could say I am pedantic.

Gill

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You’ve raised a really good point and I have hurriedly checked all my cards listings as I know I use jewel (fake) embellishments. The ones where I thought I might have used the phrase ‘jewels’ were luckily okay but then in another listing I have used the phrase ‘golden jewels’ to describe a yellow fake jewel. I don’t suppose for a minute someone would expect a real gemstone but I’ve changed my descriptions so that they are 100% crystal clear…

On a related point, I think someone might search for something like a ‘jewelled card’ for example (I have in the past), but not expect real gemstones, so I have included ‘jewel’ in my tags for a couple of the cards. I think that would be okay as its descriptive rather then factual.

That annoys me when people call all knitting yarn wool. How can 100% cotton or acrylic be wool? I’m told it’s a UK thing that we call it knitting wool and not knitting yarn. Obviously I’m slow on the uptake :joy:

Something that I have picked up on reading this thread though is that I just put ‘pink buttons’ when I guess really I should be putting ‘pink acrylic’ or ‘pink plastic’ buttons. I mention it if I use wooden buttons! :slight_smile:

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I try to be accurate too,
I have seen some very misleading discriptions on here in the jewellery section - glass beads being called gemstones ie cherry quartz and opalite moonstone, and various base metals and ceramic finishes being called silver in the description - then sterling silver in the materials bit -because a sterling earwire has been used.
Beads being sold as certain semi precious stones that they are not, they are usually dyed jade in the colour of -
And people saying things are hallmarked, when they carry a 925 stamp.
Lots of room for customers to be disappointed.

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Actually, it’s a bit of a bugbear of mine that faux pearls can be listed under the general heading “pearl jewellery” and then described as pearls in the description without referring to the fact they are not from a mollusc. Some of these beads are far too round to be real pearls and being sold for £2.50 or so they have to be acrylic or glass, but it makes my freshwater pearls look expensive.

I do use Swarovski pearls in my beadweaving because of their uniform size, but I don’t list them under “pearls” and I clearly refer to them as Swarovski Crystal Pearls in the title and description to avoid confusion.

I’d feel a lot happier if there was a heading “faux pearls and gemstones” under which people could list jewellery of this type, because I can see why they’ve listed their things in the pearl section, but I don’t think they should be there. Maybe @Folksyadmin could look into this for me and the rest of the jewellery makers on this thread?

Love Sam x

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I can see your point Samantha @SamanthaStanley but I would think it would be OK to list them under pearls providing it is obvious from the description (and title) that the pearls are not real. If I was looking for pearl jewellery I wouldn’t necessarily be looking for real pearls and I would still probably search in the “pearl” section but I would definitely want to know what I was buying.

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That does go right to the point, Roz. It’s fine to list faux pearls in that section, provided they are correctly described in the title.

The problem arises when they are described as “pearls” in the title and the customer has to dig around in the description to find out what they are made of.

It’s a really difficult one, because Folksy does not like to strong-arm shopkeepers into listing and describing their products in a certain way and I’m sure we all appreciate that freedom.

In addition, I’ve noticed that anyone who lists cuff bracelets should also beware because some shopkeepers are in the habit of bulk listing cuff-links in that section tending to fill up the pages. This must be really confusing to the customers, especially since there is a dedicated heading for “cuff-links” in the Accessories section.

Sorry, I didn’t want to whinge about this stuff because it wasn’t the point of this thread, so I’ll stop now :confounded:

Love Sam x

You just had me rushing off to see where I’d put my cuff links… the right place thank goodness!

Listings in the wrong category are annoying, I occasioinally make series’ of collagraph prints and it drives me mad seeing the number of reproductions in the printmaking category

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I usually describe my Swarovski pearl earrings with Swarovski elements in the title as I don’t think you can use Swarovski pearl earrings in the title and have to use Swarovski elements.

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